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Comment: 4 pages, 2 figures, lcws08 at Chicago
The Visible Nulling Coronagraph (VNC) can detect and characterize exoplanets with filled, segmented and sparse aperture telescopes, thereby spanning the choice of future internal coronagraph exoplanet missions. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has developed a Vacuum Nuller Testbed (VNT) to advance this approach, and assess and advance technologies needed to realize a VNC as a flight instrument. The VNT is an ultra-stable testbed operating at 15 Hz in vacuum. It consists of a MachZehnder nulling interferometer; modified with a "W" configuration to accommodate a hexpacked MEMS based deformable mirror (DM), coherent fiber bundle and achromatic phase shifters. The 2-output channels are imaged with a vacuum photon counting camera and conventional camera. Error-sensing and feedback to DM and delay line with control algorithms are impl...
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